On a day in late February when the blustery northern winds transformed downtown Indianapolis into a frigid landscape, Arsenal Technical High School students did their part to help the city’s homeless.
Members of Arsenal Tech’s Future Business Leaders of America recently distributed 50 bags containing hygiene items (soap, sanitation wipes, deodorant, toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, feminine products, lotion, socks, and shampoo) to the homeless in downtown Indianapolis.
“I learned that helping people feels good and that helping out my community has a positive impact,” said Faith Reed, a Tech freshman. “It is important for high school students to help because it can grow our minds with becoming an adult.”
Fellow freshman Gracen Beamon called the project an incredible learning experience.
“I realized that more people are suffering than I thought and that less fortunate people are grateful when receiving even the smallest amount. Participating in this project has opened my eyes to the number of people in poverty and it showed me that people are struggling now more than ever.”
Tina Naugles, club advisor and a business teacher at Tech, said the students understand that homelessness is a complex issue with no single cause or solution.
“The community service project encouraged students and staff to break the stigma by educating and bringing awareness about homelessness,” she said.
However, by acknowledging the issues that encompass homelessness, the students believed they could bring awareness to the community and begin the necessary changes to combat it effectively,” Naugles said. “All the members after many discussions believed that people can and do recover from the various challenges that create homelessness.”
The students started collecting hygiene items in November from the Arsenal Tech family of students and staff.
“Overall, the students were humbled by the experience,” Naugles said. “In the beginning, many students expressed being nervous and afraid. However, by the end of the day, the students were humbled. In fact, on the bus returning to school, they began planning their next homeless community project.”